It’s that time of year. Everyone talks about trends, but here at Spoon Academy we want you to follow your own best practices rather than someone ...

What shapes content marketing?   

It’s that time of year. Everyone talks about trends, but here at Spoon Academy we want you to follow your own best practices rather than someone else’s. In this article, a few Spoon experts reflect on the changes that are currently shaping the content marketing landscape.

The Content Council recently shared a few content marketing predictions for the coming year while The Content Marketing Association published key content marketing trends back in 2018. It’s a list of the usual suspects:

  • What are the most popular content formats?
  • How can technology support marketing and selling?
  • How can content build brand trust?

In this article, we asked a few Spoon experts to reflect on interesting changes taking place in their respective fields.  

The rise of video

Videos are predicted to account for 82% of global internet traffic by 2021. Our video production manager in Oslo, Mats Michael Olsen, comments on the future of the medium:

“Immersive or 360° video and Virtual Reality (VR) have potential. VR headsets could become a household item over the next couple of years, and that could change the game.”

“At this point we are making so many versions of the same video, can we expect responsive video in the future? Are we ready for long format vertical video? Will we flip our living room TV? Will cinema become vertical? Only time will tell.”

The advent of 360° video is a first step towards augmented and VR, but there is also the aspect of live broadcasting to consider when discussing new trends.

“Improvisation wins over planned material in today’s content overload,” says Lena Barner Rasmussen, Agency Director at Spoon Helsinki. She suggests that improvisation corresponds to keeping it real.

“Work on the element of surprise,” she says. “Nowadays, we become numb very quickly because of content overload. Avoid clichés. Before social media it took years before something became a cliché. Now it takes weeks.”

Video certainly creates a more personal connection with the audience. And as such, we’ll see more of it in the coming years. How do you surprise your audience with video?

Related: How to create better video

Be part of a bigger picture

Brands have to be more than just a product to succeed in the future. They must take a stand. Consumers have even come to expect it.

Some of the best content is made by – or for – companies that have something more to say besides the product they sell. Stine Eriksen, Agency Director at the Tromsø office, remembers this film made by Finansforbundet, which shows how they work for equal pay in the finance industry

“Companies have an excellent opportunity to make sense of the world; to tie their offer to the bigger picture,” says Lotta Heikkeri, Content Director at the Spoon Helsinki office.

Does your company have the courage to move away from a marketing tone of voice, to tackle broader issues and put your stories in a larger context?

Related: 5 steps to communicating your purpose.

Tell real stories

There is a growing demand for authentic storytelling today, because we want to connect with real people. Authentic storytelling is a response to the fake news, influencers and accounts that sneak into our newsfeeds. It means you don’t make things up – you tell it like it is.

So how can you succeed by telling real stories? First, consider the function of the story. Second, have a clear premise, and finally make sure it can be told across different channels.

“Few things are solved with one single piece of content,” says Mats Michael Olsen, who directed The Mysterious Life of Developers.  “If it’s trying to accomplish too many things, it’s probably not going to work.”

Remember: it takes seven pieces of content to make prospects sales-ready. Stories work well when the content attracts the right kind of audience and when it meets your business goals.

Related: Download Spoon’s guide to strategic content marketing.

Create your own best practices

Remember that trends may come and go and technology can evolve quickly, but people change slowly. By all means, try new things out. Experiment more with video and VR, or tell stories in a wider context. Just promise you’ll do what makes sense for your brand.